I began blogging my journey of finding a literary agent on October 31 of 2011. Why do I want an agent especially now when Ebook publishing is gaining ground? My answer is still the same, market. There is an Ebook market and there is a hard-copy market, so as an author why not enter both and maximize my visibility as well as gain the perks of having an agent:
-agents help with editing
-agents help with marketing
-agents help with getting into bookstores (yes, bookstores are still around)
I initially set my hands to the task of this particular blog because of an email a prospective agent sent to me on October 25th. He wrote, "'Not visible enough,' is a comment I receive all too often [from publishers]." He wrote this to describe my lack of a platform--which pointed toward my scant chances of ever finding an agent. His email got me thinking, "I'm not visible...and in this day and age, I probably should be. Why am I hiding?" So I set my mind to becoming an author...with a platform. Following my mentors' advice (agent Mike Nappa and agent Michael Larsen) I wanted to be sure that:
* I am highly visible on the internet
* I am engaged in social media
* my internet presence is professional
* I can run a grass roots campaign
* I can sell books
* I have PR worthy accomplishments
* I understand marketing
If I could do these things, agent or no agent, I would be sure to give my books the best possible advantage--a platform from which to meet my prospective audience.
Before I started, I can actually say that when I Googled my name--only my Facebook page came up.Now when I Google myself, an onslaught of pages comes up. First my website appears, and then the page with my upcoming conference (Hosted by Author Paul Young of The Shack). My blog also shows up, my book on Amazon, my Twitter, my LinkedIn, my fan pages, my Author's Den, my Book Blog page, my Goodreads page...and as soon as I begin gaining book reviews those, too, will show up. A big change from just six months ago.
But being visible on the internet isn't just about Googling your name. When other people search certain subjects--in which I am interested--there, too, a perspective agent should find my name. This is where blogging becomes extremely helpful, as well as other niche websites: such as my new conference website, Is the Holy Spirit a Woman.com which will be going live within a month or so.
But that's not all I did to ready myself for prospective agents. Let's remember the all important Proposal and Sample Chapters. These two ingredients took some time to fully bake:
* I read books on how to write a proposal
* I researched other books in my field and spoke with other authors
* I found a great editor--everything is now edited and in tip-top shape
* I studied how to write an engaging query letter
After six months of work, I am now ready to approach a literary agent. Gosh, I can't believe I'm finally ready! I feel like I'm going to a fabulous job interview--wait, I am going to an interview! I'll keep you posted.